Aquaponics development at Lester Farms Inc.

Lester Farms Inc. is excited to announce the impending development of a pilot aquaponics project at the farm’s premises. 

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the growing of fish and plants such as vegetables, flowers, etc. in a combined system. The technique combines aquaculture, which is the culture of aquatic animals, with hydroponics, which is the culture of plants using nutrient solutions without soil. Most common fish species used in Aquaponics are tilapia, ornamental koi and goldfish while other fish species such as trout, channel catfish, common carp, etc. have also been used. Regarding vegetables, literally any type can be grown in Aquaponics.

Compared to regular hydroponics, Aquaponics uses only the all-natural fertilizer which the fish water provides to grow plants. Pesticides are never used because the life of the fish would be at risk, which at the end yields very healthy vegetables on your plate. Many Aquaponics operations in the US for instance have been organically certified. In addition, preliminary research has shown that Aquaponics vegetables taste much better and have a much longer shelf life compared to regular store-bought vegetables.

With Aquaponics, no fish wastes are discharged to the environment as fish waste is a very valuable resource which is reused in-house for the plants. Aquaponics is the most sustainable food production system in the world. It uses minimal water and resources compared to any other food production technique.

How will this project be beneficial to the communities of St. John’s and Mount Pearl?

This pilot project will provide fresh ‘locally-grown’ high quality vegetables and fresh fish all year round to surrounding communities. Yes! People will be able to enjoy the highest quality fresh vegetables even in full winter. Produce will be on sale weekly at the farm’s premises.

Aquaponics educational tours

Another big attribute of this technique is that it is a science model for sustainable development. Aquaponics ‘ecosystems’ are the perfect educational attraction for students and people of all ages. From various types of plants floating in fish water to thousands of fish swimming around in fish tanks, this project is sure to generate fascination among many.

Lester Farms Inc. will be organizing school and public tours of the Aquaponics facility once it is operational. Tour fees will be announced later. In addition, selected candidates will be enrolled for internships.

Find out more information and Signup for our harvest share basket here!